Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews: OCDaniel
Publish August 17, 2016
OCDaniel, by Wesley King, is a realistic and compelling middle grade novel about living with obsessive compulsive disorder. Daniel Leigh is a self-described “thirteen-year-old social oddity.” As backup kicker for his school’s football team, he prefers arranging water cups into pleasing patterns instead of playing on the field. He has other peculiar habits that he dubs “Zaps,” which include avoiding writing down certain numbers and a nightly routine of repeatedly flicking a light switch on and off for hours. In a never-ending battle, Daniel desperately tries to keep his rituals a secret from his family and friends. When Sara, a classmate who struggles with her own anxiety issues, enlists Daniel’s help in solving the mystery of her father’s disappearance, he realizes he doesn’t have to suffer alone. Daniel’s first-person narration, fortified with a good dose of humour, immediately draws you into his world. Speaking candidly about mental health, his authentic voice is a much needed addition to this discussion in children’s literature. In the author’s note, Wesley King explains that the shame and confusion Daniel feels about his ritualized compulsions are based on his own experiences growing up with OCD. In addition to being a strong coming-of-age story, OCDaniel is also a valuable resource that sheds light on an important topic.
Simon and Schuster Canada
ISBN 13: 978-1-4814-5531-2
Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library. Her reviews have appeared in Quill and Quire, School Library Journal and CM: Canadian Review of Materials. When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures.
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